On the Horrid Murder Of that Incomparable Prince

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On the Horrid Murder Of that Incomparable Prince

Poem #14

Original Source

Hester Pulter, Poems breathed forth by the nobel Hadassas, University of Leeds Library, Brotherton Collection, MS Lt q 32

Versions

  • Facsimile of manuscript: Photographs provided by University of Leeds, Brotherton Collection

  • Transcription of manuscript: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.
  • Elemental edition: By Leah Knight and Wendy Wall.

How to cite these versions

Conventions for these editions

The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making

  • Created by Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
  • Encoded by Katherine Poland, Matthew Taylor, Elizabeth Chou, and Emily Andrey, Northwestern University
  • Website designed by Sergei Kalugin, Northwestern University
  • IT project consultation by Josh Honn, Northwestern University
  • Project sponsored by Northwestern University, Brock University, and University of Leeds
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X (Close panel)Notes: Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Line number 2

 Physical note

“e” written over “i” (with dot still visible)
Line number 9

 Physical note

“b” possibly written over an existing later, perhaps a “v”
Line number 9

 Physical note

“s” erased
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Transcription
Transcription

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
On the Horrid Murther of that incomparable – Prince, King Charles the ffirst
On the Horrid Murder Of that
Gloss Note
In the manuscript, the title specifies: “King Charles the First.” In the English civil war between royalists and parliamentarians, Charles I was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649.
Incomparable Prince
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem follows one “Upon the Imprisonment of his Sacred Majesty, That Unparalleled Prince, King Charles the First”; it thus follows not only in the manuscript’s arrangement, but in chronology. Charles, jailed in 1647, was in 1649 beheaded by his opponents in England’s civil wars. The monstrous singularity of this event seems reflected in the volume’s preceding blank page, paired with another after the next poem, “On the Same”: these two poems, in their efforts to grieve a beloved, murdered ruler, huddle together between visible, almost legible stretches of silence. Here, the speaker draws on the authority of conventional poetic claims of ineffability associated with praising monarchs. But now it is not just words that fail; now, even tears and sighs won’t serve—a devastating claim for a poet who figures much of her verse as tears and sighs. Instead, this poem insists the only fitting response to the king’s dismemberment is a kind of self-vivisection by mourners who are exhorted to weep not tears, but eyeballs, and to sigh not air, but their very souls: that is, to grieve themselves to death.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
Let none preſume to weep, tears are to weak
Let none presume to weep; tears are too weak
2
Such an
Physical Note
“e” written over “i” (with dot still visible)
unparreld
loſs as this to Speak
Gloss Note
of such
Such
an
Critical Note
Spelled “unparelled” (for “unparalleled”) in the manuscript, we have maintained an abbreviation for the sake of the meter.
unparall’d
loss as this to speak.
3
Poor village Girles doe Soe expreſs their grief
Poor village girls do so express their grief,
4
And in that Sad expreſſion find relief
And in that sad expression find relief.
5
When Such a Prince in Such a manner Dies
When such a
Physical Note
sovereign ruler
prince
in such a manner dies,
6
Let us (ay mee) noe more drop tears but eyes
Let us (ay me!) no more drop tears, but eyes;
7
Nor let none dare to Sigh or Strike their breast
Nor let none dare to sigh or strike their breast
8
To Shew a grief that Soe tranſcends the rest
To show a grief that so transcends the rest.
9
Physical Note
“b” possibly written over an existing later, perhaps a “v”
Plebeans
Soe each vulgar loſs
Physical Note
“s” erased
deplores
Gloss Note
commoners
Plebeians
so each vulgar loss
Gloss Note
mourn
deplore
;
10
Wee doo too little if wee doo noe more
We do too little, if we do no more.
11
When Such a King in Such a manner Dies
When such a king in such a manner dies,
12
Let us suſpire our Soules, weep out o:r eyes.
Let us
Gloss Note
sigh, breathe out
suspire
our souls, weep out our eyes.
X (Close panel)Notes: Elemental Edition
Title note

 Gloss note

In the manuscript, the title specifies: “King Charles the First.” In the English civil war between royalists and parliamentarians, Charles I was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649.

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

 Headnote

This poem follows one “Upon the Imprisonment of his Sacred Majesty, That Unparalleled Prince, King Charles the First”; it thus follows not only in the manuscript’s arrangement, but in chronology. Charles, jailed in 1647, was in 1649 beheaded by his opponents in England’s civil wars. The monstrous singularity of this event seems reflected in the volume’s preceding blank page, paired with another after the next poem, “On the Same”: these two poems, in their efforts to grieve a beloved, murdered ruler, huddle together between visible, almost legible stretches of silence. Here, the speaker draws on the authority of conventional poetic claims of ineffability associated with praising monarchs. But now it is not just words that fail; now, even tears and sighs won’t serve—a devastating claim for a poet who figures much of her verse as tears and sighs. Instead, this poem insists the only fitting response to the king’s dismemberment is a kind of self-vivisection by mourners who are exhorted to weep not tears, but eyeballs, and to sigh not air, but their very souls: that is, to grieve themselves to death.
Line number 2

 Gloss note

of such
Line number 2

 Critical note

Spelled “unparelled” (for “unparalleled”) in the manuscript, we have maintained an abbreviation for the sake of the meter.
Line number 5

 Physical note

sovereign ruler
Line number 9

 Gloss note

commoners
Line number 9

 Gloss note

mourn
Line number 12

 Gloss note

sigh, breathe out
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
X (Close panel)Elemental Edition
Elemental Edition

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder

Facsimile Image Placeholder
On the Horrid Murther of that incomparable – Prince, King Charles the ffirst
On the Horrid Murder Of that
Gloss Note
In the manuscript, the title specifies: “King Charles the First.” In the English civil war between royalists and parliamentarians, Charles I was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649.
Incomparable Prince
AE TITLE
In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
This poem follows one “Upon the Imprisonment of his Sacred Majesty, That Unparalleled Prince, King Charles the First”; it thus follows not only in the manuscript’s arrangement, but in chronology. Charles, jailed in 1647, was in 1649 beheaded by his opponents in England’s civil wars. The monstrous singularity of this event seems reflected in the volume’s preceding blank page, paired with another after the next poem, “On the Same”: these two poems, in their efforts to grieve a beloved, murdered ruler, huddle together between visible, almost legible stretches of silence. Here, the speaker draws on the authority of conventional poetic claims of ineffability associated with praising monarchs. But now it is not just words that fail; now, even tears and sighs won’t serve—a devastating claim for a poet who figures much of her verse as tears and sighs. Instead, this poem insists the only fitting response to the king’s dismemberment is a kind of self-vivisection by mourners who are exhorted to weep not tears, but eyeballs, and to sigh not air, but their very souls: that is, to grieve themselves to death.

— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall


— Leah Knight and Wendy Wall
1
Let none preſume to weep, tears are to weak
Let none presume to weep; tears are too weak
2
Such an
Physical Note
“e” written over “i” (with dot still visible)
unparreld
loſs as this to Speak
Gloss Note
of such
Such
an
Critical Note
Spelled “unparelled” (for “unparalleled”) in the manuscript, we have maintained an abbreviation for the sake of the meter.
unparall’d
loss as this to speak.
3
Poor village Girles doe Soe expreſs their grief
Poor village girls do so express their grief,
4
And in that Sad expreſſion find relief
And in that sad expression find relief.
5
When Such a Prince in Such a manner Dies
When such a
Physical Note
sovereign ruler
prince
in such a manner dies,
6
Let us (ay mee) noe more drop tears but eyes
Let us (ay me!) no more drop tears, but eyes;
7
Nor let none dare to Sigh or Strike their breast
Nor let none dare to sigh or strike their breast
8
To Shew a grief that Soe tranſcends the rest
To show a grief that so transcends the rest.
9
Physical Note
“b” possibly written over an existing later, perhaps a “v”
Plebeans
Soe each vulgar loſs
Physical Note
“s” erased
deplores
Gloss Note
commoners
Plebeians
so each vulgar loss
Gloss Note
mourn
deplore
;
10
Wee doo too little if wee doo noe more
We do too little, if we do no more.
11
When Such a King in Such a manner Dies
When such a king in such a manner dies,
12
Let us suſpire our Soules, weep out o:r eyes.
Let us
Gloss Note
sigh, breathe out
suspire
our souls, weep out our eyes.
X (Close panel) All Notes
Elemental Edition
Title note

 Gloss note

In the manuscript, the title specifies: “King Charles the First.” In the English civil war between royalists and parliamentarians, Charles I was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1649.
Transcription

 Editorial note

In these transcriptions we preserve as many details of the original material, textual, and graphic properties of Hester Pulter’s manuscript verse as we have found practical. Whenever possible, for instance, original spelling, punctuation, capitalization, lineation, insertions, deletions, alterations, spacing between words and lines, and indentation are all maintained; abbreviations and brevigraphs are not expanded; and superscript and subscript representations are retained. See full conventions for the transcriptions here.
Elemental Edition

 Editorial note

The aim of the elemental edition is to make the poems accessible to the largest variety of readers, which involves modernizing spelling and punctuation as well as adding basic glosses. Spelling and punctuation reflect current standard American usage; punctuation highlights syntax which might otherwise be obscure. Outmoded but still familiar word forms (“thou,” “‘tis,” “hold’st”) are not modernized, and we do not modernize grammar when the sense remains legible. After a brief headnote aimed at offering a “way in” to the poem’s unique qualities and connections with other verse by Pulter or her contemporaries, the edition features a minimum of notes and interpretative framing to allow more immediate engagement with the poem. Glosses clarify synonyms or showcase various possible meanings in Pulter’s time. Other notes identify named people and places or clarify obscure material. We rely (without citation) primarily on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the Oxford Reference database, and the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. When we rely on Alice Eardley’s edition of Pulter’s work, we cite her text generally (“Eardley”); other sources are cited in full. The result is an edition we consider a springboard for further work on Pulter’s poetry. See full conventions for this edition here.
Amplified Edition

 Editorial note

Elemental Edition

 Headnote

This poem follows one “Upon the Imprisonment of his Sacred Majesty, That Unparalleled Prince, King Charles the First”; it thus follows not only in the manuscript’s arrangement, but in chronology. Charles, jailed in 1647, was in 1649 beheaded by his opponents in England’s civil wars. The monstrous singularity of this event seems reflected in the volume’s preceding blank page, paired with another after the next poem, “On the Same”: these two poems, in their efforts to grieve a beloved, murdered ruler, huddle together between visible, almost legible stretches of silence. Here, the speaker draws on the authority of conventional poetic claims of ineffability associated with praising monarchs. But now it is not just words that fail; now, even tears and sighs won’t serve—a devastating claim for a poet who figures much of her verse as tears and sighs. Instead, this poem insists the only fitting response to the king’s dismemberment is a kind of self-vivisection by mourners who are exhorted to weep not tears, but eyeballs, and to sigh not air, but their very souls: that is, to grieve themselves to death.
Amplified Edition

 Headnote

Transcription
Line number 2

 Physical note

“e” written over “i” (with dot still visible)
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Gloss note

of such
Elemental Edition
Line number 2

 Critical note

Spelled “unparelled” (for “unparalleled”) in the manuscript, we have maintained an abbreviation for the sake of the meter.
Elemental Edition
Line number 5

 Physical note

sovereign ruler
Transcription
Line number 9

 Physical note

“b” possibly written over an existing later, perhaps a “v”
Transcription
Line number 9

 Physical note

“s” erased
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

commoners
Elemental Edition
Line number 9

 Gloss note

mourn
Elemental Edition
Line number 12

 Gloss note

sigh, breathe out
Sorry, but there are no notes associated with any currently displayed witness.
ManuscriptX (Close panel)
image